When Jawbone's UP wristband was released in late 2011, I was excited. Then I was disappointed. The motion-tracking band seemed like a perfect step into wearable tech at the time, but its companion app wasn't available for Android. Whether and why Jawbone didn't see fit to invest resources in developing for Android was a mystery, but now – thankfully – it's immaterial. Just over a week ago, Jawbone released an official UP app to the Google Play Store, and I wanted to be first in line to try it out with Jawbone's updated 2012 wristband. Having used the band (which, by the way, is available from Jawbone for around $130) and app for about a week now, I've learned several things that will hopefully help those on the fence in making a decision about the device.
The Now Network continues to march forward in its 4G LTE Network Vision build-out, today announcing four markets in which the LTE switch is being flipped. You may remember Sprint's July statement that it would be bringing LTE to four new cities by September 3rd, and it looks like the carrier has already made good on that promise, with one exception – the list has dropped Sherman-Denison, TX in favor of Sedalia MO. Here's the full lineup of newly christened LTE cities:
- Baltimore, MD
- Gainesville, GA
- Manhattan/Junction City, KS
- Sedalia, MO
While Sprint is more than a little late to the LTE party and still a bit slow on the pick-up, it's always good to see a fresh batch of areas getting access to the burgeoning network.
It was only last week that Sony began to update the Xperia P with Ice Cream Sandwich, but it looks like the company is now going full steam ahead and bringing the update to no fewer than 8 more devices this week.
A post on the Sony Xperia Product Blog this morning said that the update will be coming to the arc, arc S, neo, neo V, mini, pro, active, and ray "starting from this week". Depending on the country that you live in, you may have to wait a little longer for the update, as it will have to be approved by local carriers before it's rolled out.
Thumb Keyboard, one of the most intuitive, well-designed, and practical keyboards available (especially for tablet users) got a big update recently, bringing the app up to version 4.5.
Perhaps the biggest benefit to the new update is that Thumb Keyboard now supports ICS' continuous voice recognition, which in case you've forgotten, is the feature introduced with Ice Cream Sandwich that actively listens and dictates your speech. This is a feature I haven't seen in other alternative keyboards, and it's definitely nice to have. Other big additions include gesture support as well as a new one-handed layout for phones with larger displays.
Although I've dropped a phone a total of about three times in my life, and although manufacturers are continually touting more and more durable glass, polycarbonate plastic, and even metal that's 3x stronger than stainless steel, there lingers in the back of my mind the question of what may happen if and when that fateful day comes – the day when I finally drop my phone onto an unforgiving concrete, asphalt, or otherwise hard surface. Looking to calm the fears of high-end device users everywhere, Seidio created their signature Surface, Active and Convert Combo cases.
I recently got my hands on a set of cases for my new EVO LTE, a device that (despite its quirks) is certainly worth protecting.
After living with the cases for a while, I've learned a few things – first, Seidio has covered the full spectrum of protection from super light and compact to ultra-durable monster case that would keep your EVO unscathed through a hurricane.
It's not much of a secret that I don't actually like cases for my devices. I appreciate the added protection, but I've found that most cases either hinder the device's overall use, deduct from the natural sleekness, or are just flat-out ugly.
Then I got my hands on the Surface, Active, and Convert cases from Seidio. Wow.
Never before have I actually wanted to use a case on my phone, but these are some of the best looking cases I've ever seen. Not only do they look great, but they feel great and don't negatively affect the way I use my device.
Update: Now with video goodness. In fact, you can watch Maria Sharapova (don't get too excited) talk about the Xperia Active. And hey, she knows about active lifestyle phones, because she's sporty.
Today at CommunicAsia (we've never heard of it, either) Sony-Ericsson announced two additions to the Android-powered Xperia line of smartphones: the Ray and Active. Both phones are niche sort of "lifestyle" devices, and will probably be marketed more heavily in Japan than the rest of the world.
Given how popular live wallpaper (LWP) posts are, it's surprising that - with the exception of the Dancing Droid LWP - we haven't really had a big one since we found the R2-D2 set back in early September. Consider the dry spell over: meet the newest post-worthy LWP, 3D Active Blocks. The work of XDA-Devs member mmone3, the premise is simple: it takes pictures (either preset or pictures from your gallery) and breaks them into blocks; the blocks then break up, move, and transform (via various effects) into other pictures.
But the effect is cooler than that: the wallpaper is actually interactive, reacting to touch.